UK & World News
Cameron: UK Ready To Fund New Flood Defences
David Cameron has suggested that his "money is no object" pledge on the flood relief effort could be extended to cover the costs of new defences.
In an exclusive interview with Sky News, the Prime Minister said he was ready to take out his "chequebook" following a major review of what went wrong and how it could have been prevented.
"You've got to look at where the floods have been this time, compared with 2007, compared with 2003," he said.
"I'm sure people have ideas for different things that need to be done and new defences that have to be built and of course we will look at those."
Asked if he would consider them "favourably", Mr Cameron responded: "Yes, absolutely, that's right."
He said there were already ideas emerging near his own Oxfordshire constituency, which has been affected, and he was ready to look at them.
"After every flood, after every terrible event like this you've got to sit down again," he said.
"You've got to look at the Environment Agency predictions. You've got to look at where the floods took place. You've got to ask if there are other defences and have that proper review which is what we will do."
The Prime Minister has faced scrutiny ever since he made his "money is no object" pledge over the floods, which flew in the face of his Government's tough austerity agenda.
In the House of Commons, he stressed that was about money for the "relief" effort.
He insisted the pledge stood after his Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, contradicted it by saying there was no "blank cheque".
In today's interview, he reiterated that argument but said he was also not ruling out getting out his chequebook in the long run.
Mr Cameron added: "I have said what I've said about money being no object in the relief phase because I didn't want people to think they couldn't get the sandbags or the military wouldn't come in or they wouldn't get the help they needed or local authorities saying, 'Perhaps I'll be charged for this or for that.'"
He said he wanted people to know the Government would throw everything it could at tackling the crisis.
There are already plans to spend "millions" in Somerset by dredging rivers, he said.
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